Having previously written about Western followers of Hinduism choosing different paths, I was interested to receive a comment from another Westerner who is following the Shakti path of Mātā Amritanandamayī Devī, known as Amma, the hugging saint.
Stacy, or “Amma’s Child” has created an amazing page dedicated to Amma. It is easy to see the depth of her devotion to Kālī Mā (mother Kali), and Amma her Satguru. Part of her comment on this site says:
When I read up on this Goddess, Kali felt very familiar to me, like someone I already knew. Once I chanted her mantra “om kali ma”, I felt my heart go deeper, aching for her more.
This feeling of familiarity, already knowing what you are reading for the first time, is something I experienced also. Often when reading Saivite Scriptures I feel that it is just reminding me of something that I already know in my heart.
It is nice to hear from a Western follower of the Shakti path. I have previously had comments from Western Shaivas, Vishnavas, and Smartas, this now means that I have heard from Westerners following all four major paths of Hinduism.
Shaktis and Shaivas are both worshippers of Shiva-Shakti, but approaching from a different angle. To the Savite Shakti is the feminine power of Shiva, whereas to the Shakti Shiva is the transcendent aspect of the Goddess.(Image Shiva-Shakti Released into Public Domain by the Himalayan Academy)
Namaskar Tandava ji,
I am a practicing Hindu and I am very circumspect about these Ashrams (or Organisations rather) and Gurus; before anybody thinks that I am tarring everyone with the same brush, I will clarify that I do not seek to do it. I understand that there is a need for people of non-Hindu/ Indian origin of a Guru, to understand and appreciate the facets of new religion or a way of life which has hitherto been unfamiliar to them.
But, having said that Sanatana Dharma is about self discovery and experience too. Having chosen Sanatana Dharma as their new way of life any person can begin his journey of experiencing the Dharma – the search for a guiding light or Guru can continue, but isn’t the self or the Atman also a Guru? As you already know, this is brilliantly expounded by Adi Sankara.
In India, it is a fad to associate oneself with one Guru or the other. I have personally visited many Ashrams and found many devotees who are of non-Indian/Hindu origin, who actively participate in Dhyana/Sat-Sanga and so forth in the Ashrams, which is very heartening. But, I feel, that many do not venture in to the beautiful yet uncharted waters of this humongous ocean of Sanatana Dharma, which could be a wondrous journey in itself.
Some trail blazers like Dr David Frawley, who is recognized as an authority on Dharma have precisely done that and their life’ journey is most fascinating. I would be delighted to see more and more people of non-Indian origin setting out on this journey to chart the ocean of Sanatana Dharma.
My apologies for a lengthy comment.
A sister in Dharma